International students from all over the world are a few weeks into their first semester at Marshall
University through a new program called INTO.
About 160 students from the other side of the world are new to the Marshall campus this fall.
As part of an agreement between Marshall and INTO, an international group that helps recruit students to colleges all around the world, a brand new group of students is experiencing Huntington. Marshall is one of four schools in the United States that have agreements with the group, the others include Oregon State University, the University of South Florida and Colorado State University.
Matt Turner is Chief of Staff at Marshall and said they’re happy with the relationship with INTO.
“I think we’ve been very pleased with the number of students and the variety of countries they represent, we really have a broad base of countries represented on campus and this was one of our main goals was that now we’re able to internationalize the campus and provide more exposure to our student body, our existing domestic student body,” Turner said.
So far, the agreement has brought students from 20 different countries to Huntington. Stephanie Hurley is the Director of Student Experience with INTO at Marshall and said things are working like they hoped it would.
“It’s going to definitely change the way conversations are structured in the classroom, having a wider variety of opinions and a wider variety of voices will certainly change what that looks like. Anecdotally what we’ve had in the first four weeks is a high level of interaction between our students and the American students here on campus,” Hurley said.
Ben White is the academic program director. He said in order for the students to succeed academically, it’s just as important for them to become integrated into the community as it is for them do well in the classroom.
“I think both the diversity we offer here with students from lot
s of different countries and just the fact that the students are here coming up activities, getting the students out into the community interacting with American kids, going to football games. By doing just regular everyday things like that there English will improve,” White said.
Once the students arrive they are entered in pathways programs which are meant to help them adjust academically in the United States. Although the students have already been exposed to English and the subjects they plan to major in, the pathways programs makes sure they’re ready for classes consisting of lectures in English. In the program they study six credits of English each semester and take content courses that match the core curriculum requirements that students need to fulfill at Marshall.
Gessica Puentes Quintero is a student worker for INTO from Colombia. She thinks the program and international students can help change Huntington.
“I think it’s going to be great for the city, more people are aware that it’s not only Americans, but there are more different cultures coming to the city. I came here a year ago and when I say I’m from Colombia, they would be like Columbia, South Carolina, no South America, so they’re more aware,” Quintero said.
INTO has agreements with 14 other universities in China and the United Kingdom.